So, having made the decision to jump ship, I needed to flex the credit card and buy some hardware. Now this was easier than I expected, as it seems you can buy a Mac from just about anywhere these days – both online and in the “real world”. I, however, plumped for the obvious option of buying direct from Apple.
This, it turned out, was a smart move.
When I placed my order, the online Apple Store was quoting a ‘build time’ of 1-2 days. “Great! I’ll have it in no time!” thought GOO, as he hit the submit button. Er – No. Due to a cock up in the billing / shipping address I only noticed a day later, I had to cancel the order and resubmit it. Only now the quoted build time was 2-3 weeks.
Cue much ranting and pouting on my part, and statements along the lines of “Grow up, it’s only a computer and it’ll get here eventually” from Mrs GOO. I’ve removed the expletives as this is supposed to be a family show.
Still pouting but suitably chastised, I started to while away the agonising wait. As something to do during this interminable period, I looked up some Mac-centric websites - chiefly AppleInsider and MacRumors. They where reporting on some interesting scuttlebutt that Apple where due to refresh the Powerbook line with better specifications. This initially made me even unhappier, as I thought I’d jumped too soon. And reading the possible spec changes only made it worse, but being a masochist I continued to visit the sites.
The spec I’d plumped for was a 15” Power Book, with a 1.25Ghz G4, ATI Radeon 9600 Mobile Graphics, 512Mb, 80Gb HDD, Light up keyboard, Integrated Bluetooth and Airport Extreme (Applespeak for 802.11g). The rumours centred on faster G4’s and uprated graphics.
Then the new specs where announced officially by Apple.
Faster processors? Check.
Better Graphics cards? Check.
Lower prices? Che... Hang on, LOWER PRICES!!!???
“Great. Rub my nose in it, Apple. Not only are the specs better, I’ve paid more for a lesser machine.” Thought I - until I collected my mail that night:
Dear Apple Store Customer,
Thank you for shopping at the Apple Store.
Today Apple unveiled a new PowerBook 15". Accordingly, we are pleased to revise your recent
order by substituting the original product you ordered with the new PowerBook 15" at no extra
cost to you. The new product's configuration either matches or is better than the configuration of
the original product you ordered.
In fact, depending on the configuration you ordered, you may be entitled to a partial refund.
If you are paying by Credit Card, Loan, or Leasing, the price will be adjusted automatically.
The Apple Store
Of course, this cheered me up no end. I’d be getting the same laptop, but with a 1.5Ghz G4, Radeon 9700 Mobile graphics and a not inconsiderable £250 refund - score one for Apple’s customer service! Had I bought from another source I’d still be feeling sore and out of pocket, as they’d have shipped an old spec laptop, as they dumped their old stock.
So, I fell into the habit of checking the tracking site to see where the new toy was – about every 5 minutes. I learnt a very valuable lesson here. Repeat after me, Kids: "Continually hitting F5 in IE to refresh the browser does not make the delivery come any quicker."
Anyway, D-Day eventually arrived, after the Powerbook washed up on the shores of this green and pleasant land - after taking a quick detour to do some sight-seeing in the Netherlands… Of course, as is always the way of these things, I wasn’t in to receive it – so after work it was down to the TNT depot to pick it up. There was then a further interruption to zero hour, as Mrs GOO needed taking to Casualty (ER to all our American viewers), as she had managed to break her finger. Don’t ask – it’s a long story.